The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog has been kept for centuries, used in Switzerland as herding and guard dogs since the Middle Ages.A giant black beauty, the Greater Swiss Mountain dog is impressive to say the least. A good guard dog and loving family member it comes as no surprise that this breed has been loved by many since they were developed. The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog has a strong personality. They can be excellent guard dogs as they have a very strong sense of territory and will react in the presence of a stranger invading their homes.
Their large size, confident personality, and loud deep bark in addition to their territoriality will leave your home well protected. The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog should not, however, be characterized as aggressive, rather they are protective. They love nothing more than to please their owners. This loyal and loving dog does very well with children and other most other pets. Socialization is required if you intend to house them with other dogs.
They are prone to chasing other animals if not properly trained. Because they are social and loving canines, they have a strong desire to be with family members at all times. The Greater Swiss Mountain dog is an intelligent dog and therefore is quick to train. The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog prefers a cool climate and requires regular moderate exercise. In spite of their great size they will adapt to apartments if they are given the appropriate amount of exercise, though most will recommend they live in the country or suburbs.
They remain puppy-like for two to three years. They do not reach maturity until this time, prior to they will not have attained their full adult size, nor should they be expected to behave as an adult. They are slow maturing dogs. In addition to their household qualities, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is also an excellent working dog. In addition to being good watchdogs they have talents in carting and tracking. They also do very well in competitive obedience.
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a very large and muscular canine. At maturity the Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs will grow to a height of 23 to 28 inches and weigh in between 130 and 135 pounds. Their outercoats are dense and lengthy, measuring one to two inches long. Their undercoats are thick and will show through on the neck, belly, and underside of the tail. Coat colors are jet-black with rich rust-and-white markings on the face, neck, chest, and legs, along with rust markings over the eyes. Their eyes will vary from chestnut to hazel.
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a member of the Sennenhund breed classification. They are the quite possibly the oldest among the other four members which include, the Appenzeller, the Entlebucher Sennehund , and the Bernese Mountain Dog. Unfortunately, today this breed is quite rare around the world with only 100 puppies being born annually. The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog requires a lot of room and regular exercise.Their coats are relatively easy to care for needing only weekly brushing.This breed is subject to bloat, hip dysplasia, distichiasis, epilepsy growth impairment, mega-esophagus, digestive disorders and panosteitis.